Anesthesia in Ancient Persian Medicine

Abdolhasan Kazemi, Mostafa Kazemi, Bahram Samadi Rad, Majid Khalili



Ancient Iranian had used a variety of anesthetic agents from which Wine (Alcohol) alone or along with Hashish and also other herbal medicines had been considered for causing sleepiness, lethargy, numbness and anesthesia.

Iranian ancient medical texts contained lots of evidences about familiarity of practitioners and scholars with anesthetics, drug components and the way of using them and reputation of the anesthetics and familiarity with them was also penetrated in literary expressions and speeches of the poets and scholars of this land.

In the literatures of ancient Persia and also Iran after Islam, using anesthesia by kings, heroes, and rovers have been observed and it seems that the background of Iranian familiarity with anesthetic property of Hashish goes back to eras before Zoroaster and compilation of the Avesta and its annexes such as “Artay Viraf Namak” because some references to anesthetic in biography of Darius the Achaemenid can be seen. There had also been some evidences about using anesthetic in literature of other eastern nations including Indian, Arabs, Chinese and south-east Asians.


Anesthesia; anesthetic; ancient Iran

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